I finally feel comfortable to now put pen to paper to express my shock and sincere disappointment upon hearing our little Canadian Cancer Society office on 2nd. Avenue here in Qualicum Beach is to be closed permanently on March 31, 2013.
The official reason for the closure came from Division Office in Victoria and was attributed to the general economic down turn and pressure on financial resources distributed through Headquarters.
Though our small office had been organized to be one of the top fund raisers on the Island year after year and our band of volunteers have maintained a well organized executive along with the most dedicated and energetic group of volunteers it seems our Spartan overhead was too much to be maintained.
The central nature of our office has been such a benefit to those in the area seeking assistance to all the services we provided or to reference other supporting agencies.
Including in our services are Financial Aid, Air and Road Transportation to our accommodations in Victoria or Vancouver for those requiring treatment, support groups, varied literature and of course a drop off spot for those so generous to donate on a voluntary basis and to those who so thoughtfully would donate in memory of the loss of a friend or relative.
Though some of these services will now be available through our office in Nanaimo the distance could prove to be a challenge but I urge all those so inclined to continue your loyal and generous support as well as to seek out our services there.
My 20 years as a volunteer had me wear many hats but the one of most satisfaction came from financial aid, and with my dear friend Arlene Andrews assisted clients with marginal incomes to obtain financial support from the CCS for treatments, accommodations and medications.
It was a major benefit for those who had the challenge of treatment and the financial relief allowed them to concentrate more on the rough road ahead.
Changing economic times may one day see our local office re-established and with that will come another band of dedicated and energetic volunteers to serve the area again.
I believe I sincerely speak for all our volunteers who are so proud to have been of help to those that needed it and thanks to all those who made donations that made our services available.